SilverStone SX700-LPT 700W w/ PP08 (Page 4 of 4) | Reports

Page 4 - Minor Tests and Conclusion

Power supplies are interesting products -- because often, reviews of products in this category are conducted and tested in methods that make it difficult to distinguish one power supply from another. Many aspects have to be taken into consideration -- of which certain criteria consists of efficiency, noise, power ripples, and of course the ability to pull out the rated specifications. Because many cannot afford such equipment to obtain results regarding those aspects, articles covering power supplies often come out with less than adequate and acceptable information. As this is a product report -- not a review -- what we are doing is a close examination of the power supply, and the internal hardware and build. But what we can do for you is do some minor testing with the results we can present to you with, and let other review sites with professional equipment show you the actual test results. We're not going to try to BS you by installing the power supply into the latest gaming rig and try to take readings from that, as this is not even remotely the correct way to test power supply units. We understand that many websites do that as a means of load testing, but the results, even if you use an oscilloscope and multimeter at each output location, it is not sufficient, nor does it accurately reflect the performance of the power supply.

Using our power supply tester, which exerts minimal load on the power supply, initial consumption was rated at 8W as measured by our wall meter -- indicating the basic load-free power consumption of the power supply is excellent. By comparison, the SilverStone Strider Titanium ST80F-TI 800W scored at half the wattage. Independent reviews from websites with professional load testing equipment showed the SilverStone SX700-LPT 700W delivered excellent efficiency and very good voltage regulation and ripple depending on the rail. This is an 80 Plus Platinum certified power supply unit, and those websites show this power supply easily meets these requirements.

Voltages with minimal load are generally accurate, which is a basic requirement of power supplies out of the box. In this situation all are within 4%. The PG (Power Good) delay seems to be well within its rated range and general power supply standard of 320ms.

Active power correction is important to correct AC load line loss. In AC power, there are three components to it as there is a phase difference between current and voltage. This makes up the power triangle, which consists of the following: Average usable power (P, measured in watts), reactive power (Q, denoted as VA-R), and total power (S, written as VA). While these components all measure power, they are not the same as each other. What we want is the average usable power, with as little wasted reactive power as possible. The total power provided over the AC line is the magnitude of the two combined (sqrt(P^2+Q^2)). Power factor can then be easily calculated by P/S. The ideal value is 1.00, and this is where active PFC comes in. Under nominal loads, the power factor value of the SilverStone SX700-LPT 700W was at 0.96, indicating that the active PFC function is working well.

If there is one thing to knock the SilverStone SX700-LPT 700W at, it is the fan. In normal operation, the power supply is indeed silent, as the fan is off under low load. However, once enough load is required, the fan noise ramps up a bit. On our APH Networks scale, where 0 is silent and 10 is the loudest, I would rate the SX700-LPT 700W at 4.0/10 acoustically under nominal loads. It is not so much as a loud fan, but rather it has a higher frequency, making it more audible. As previously mentioned, this is a semi-passive power supply, and the fan's profile only ramps up when there is more load. On the other hand, I can understand there needs to be a balance between overall noise and performance, especially in such tight quarters. Combined with the fact this power supply will run practically silent on idle and low loads, the noise overall is not as big of a deal.

One thing I should mention is the SilverStone PP08, which is an SFX-to-ATX power supply mount adapter. The PP08 is normally purchased separately. This allows you to place your SFX sized power supply into any case. It is pretty basic, with black paint surrounding it. It also comes with four screws to help mount your power supply. I do like the fact the power supply is not placed smack in the middle, but rather offset to one edge. This reduces the likelihood of having the power supply supported only by the adapter. Otherwise, there is also a sufficient amount of air holes to freely allow air to flow in and out of the case. I would have liked to see SilverStone include this adapter with all of their SFX power supplies, but I guess this change is something we have to adapt to, haha.

SilverStone provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.

According to our affiliates, the SilverStone SX700-LPT 700W provided very good quality voltage regulation, ripple control, and standby efficiency. In combination with great build quality overall, you can see SilverStone has done a really good job, especially considering how small this is. It should be noted this is still very much a niche power supply, as it is intended for smaller builds. This is seen through the lack of an ATX-to-SFX adapter, and the shorter cables overall. The small size does come at a price of about $170 USD at press time. All I can say is, if you are looking to put this into a smaller build and requiring plenty of power, I would be going bananas to not say the SX700-LPT 700W is a great choice.

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Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Outside
3. Physical Look - Inside
4. Minor Tests and Conclusion